Tuesday 25 September 2018

Eamon Dunphy says England are a 'certainty' to beat Croatia and tips Raheem Sterling to score a vital goal

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eamon Dunphy feels England will book a place in Sunday's World Cup final when they face Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday.

England's impressive group-stage display was followed by a shoot-out triumph against Colombia and surprisingly comfortable quarter-final win against Sweden, propelling the country to a first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

Croatia are all that now stands between Gareth Southgate's men and a chance at replicating the heroes of 1966.

Speaking on Game On on 2FM, Dunphy said: "England are a certainty. Croatia will be very tired. They've gone to two extra-times and if you have to go to extra-time against Russia...

"They've got (Luka) Modric, who was very good, (Ivan) Rakitic was totally absent from the game. England will beat them."

He is also predicting that the under-fire Raheem Sterling will score a pivotal goal.

"The end product isn't there but I think Sterling will score a very important goal in this tournament. He's getting into great positions," he added.

"His end product is infuriating at times when he doesn't finish it off whether it's a pass or a cross or a strike on goal but he's deadly."

Dunphy expects Roberto Martinez and Belgium to get the better of France in St Petersburg tomorrow and fears that England's back three will struggle against the Belgians.

"Their problem is the back three and it would be a major problem if they play Belgium.

"(John)Stones is too slow, (Kyle) Walker is not a central defender and (Harry) Maguire is a good centre-half but he's playing on his left foot. They have a major problem there ans that's what will cost them the World Cup if Belgium get through.

"France haven't been impressive in one game. There is a buzz about them but I don't know where it comes from.

"I don't think they'll get to England."

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